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Type: Thesis
Title: An analysis of the underlying factors that affected Malaysia-Singapore relations during the Mahathir era: discords and continuity.
Author: Omar, Rusdi
Issue Date: 2014
School/Discipline: School of History and Politics
Abstract: This thesis is an analysis of the underlying factors that influenced Malaysia-Singapore relations during the watershed period of Mahathir Mohamad as the Prime Minister of Malaysia (1981- 2003). The study proposes that the bilateral tensions between Malaysia and Singapore were, to a large extent, affected by such things as the burden of historical baggage from their acrimonious parting in 1965, after a short period of unification; the differences between them in their perceptions and approaches in handling bilateral relations; and their political cultures and the leadership styles of their prime ministers, but for the purposes of the present study, specifically those of Mahathir and Lee Kuan Yew. The thesis examines a number of key areas of discord between states and leaders alike. Despite the strong underlying differences, the thesis argues, the two states have existed in a condition of interdependency in the post-1965 period. They have had to find ways in which to suppress the culturally- and historically-conditioned tensions in order to ensure their respective states’ economic growth and political and social development. As a result, we have the curious situation in which both Malaysia and Singapore have found ways of maintaining engagement. In doing so, they have avoided raising tensions to the point of conflict, and, indeed, been able to build bridges through consistent, and determined, application to their bilateral affairs. The thesis provides some explanations as why this should be the case.
Advisor: Patrikeeff, Felix
Elias, Juanita Marie
Tubilewicz, Czeslaw
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of History and Politics, 2014
Keywords: Malaysia-Singapore relations; the underlying factors; the Mahathir era; discords; continuity
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